Imagine the possibility that within the next 90 days or less, several Republican power brokers will be former same.

Newt Gingrich thinks they should be formers.  Today’s Washington Post quotes the himself former House Leader,

“Unequivocally, the House Republicans need to select a new majority leader in late January or early February,” said Gingrich, who cited revelations in The Washington Post that a public advocacy group organized by DeLay associates had been largely financed by Russian energy interests.

If ever a blacker pot called out a similar kettle, I don’t know.  But. . .Ahh, I love the smell of foreign influence peddling in the (early) morning as I type.  Who else might feel the door striking their “derries” as they scramble to make themselves scarce?
Well, if not scarce, who’s trying to distance themselves from (himself another former) friend, the flipping “Flap-Jack” Abramoff who wishes to distance himself from himself by turning away from lobbying and toward singing?

None other than Speaker Jim Hastert (R-Ill) who is throwing wads of cash at some poor unsuspecting charity (Gee, I hope it’s a Christian one!) in an effort to divest himself of the tainted tens of thousands.  Somehow, I just don’t think it works like that.  If you take dirty money in exchange for favors then try to wash away its stain, does that make the favor go away too?

And if the politicos themselves aren’t running for the nearest charities or doors, then their minions will be candidates for the wolves waiting on the other side of the latter.  Folks like DeLay’s former deputy chief of staff, Tony C. Rudy, a named name in the court documents will be looking for the nearest exit.  

. . .10 monthly payments totaling $50,000 that went to the wife of an aide identified as “Staffer A.” In exchange, that aide, identified elsewhere as Rudy, helped torpedo Internet gambling legislation and a postal-rate increase, according to Abramoff’s plea agreement.

As for DeLay, it’s going to be hard for him to run away from either his acts or his history.  At least if the Democrats have their druthers.  

Even before the plea agreement was unveiled, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had circulated a 1997 quote from DeLay hailing Abramoff as “one of my closest and dearest friends.”

“Tom DeLay was majority leader of the House of Representatives,” said DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), “and Tom DeLay said Jack Abramoff was his best friend, nobody else.”

Unfortunately, Democrats may not be able to rejoice in the smug satisfaction that the Enemy is getting its come-uppance.  Those who aren’t in office may find themselves in something else.  And some Democrats in office may find themselves out of it as a result of their intimacies with Abramoff “dirty money.”  

[Abramoff] oversaw at the law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP a team of two dozen lobbyists that included many Democrats.  The biggest beneficiaries of campaign contributions directed by the Abramoff team included such high-ranking Democrats as then-Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.), Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (R.I.), a former head of the House Democrats’ campaign committee.

So, if you notice a cloud of dust rising ’round the Wedding Cake on the Hill, don’t be surprised if its kicked up by a herd of bi-partisan heels belonging to the embarrasssed who suddenly find themselves needing to spend quality time with their families.  Or elsewhere?


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